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2021 Best Colleges for the Money in Montana

10 Colleges
$20,035 Avg Cost*
4.5 Years Avg Time to Graduate*

When pursuing a degree in today's world, there are many different options to choose from. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Value Montana Schools ranking.

We analyzed 10 colleges and universities to determine which were the best for overall value in Montana. Quality is an important component in this ranking, so it is not just naming the schools with the cheapest price tag. Instead, it is identifying those institutions that offer the most value when taking their educational quality into consideration. Thus, one college may rank better than another, but the second school could have a lower average cost.

Find out more about our ranking methodology.

To calculate the average cost amount, we sum up the total expenses to attend a school - such as tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other living expenses - and then subtract the average financial aid award a student receives. So it is an approximation of how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket each year on average.

Customizing Your List

Since one ranking on its own is not enough to give you a complete understanding of your educational options, you can refine this list by location and field of study. We've also developed a number of other tools and rankings based on other factors. These other rankings highlight colleges that excel in other factors such as overall quality or diversity as well as schools that excel in serving different groups of students such as veterans or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head!

Top Colleges for the Money in Montana

Learn more about these excellent schools below:

#1

Salish Kootenai College

Pablo, Montana

Salish Kootenai College tops this year’s ranking as the best school for overall value in Montana. SKC is a public institution located in Pablo, Montana. The school has a small population, and it awarded 49 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.2 years for the average student at SKC to complete their degree, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $12,338. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from SKC is $51,573. If you can shave even one term off your degree, you can save a substantial amount of money.

The low student loan default rate of 1.8% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, SKC is ranked #4 for overall quality in Montana.

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Out of the 10 schools in Montana that were part of this year’s ranking, Montana Tech of the University of Montana landed the #2 spot on the list. Montana Tech is a public institution located in Butte, Montana. The school has a small population, and it awarded 453 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Montana Tech about 4.8 years to graduate, and it costs about $18,545 per year to attend the school. This means that the average student pays around $88,089 to get a bachelor’s degree from Montana Tech. Graduating sooner can prevent you from having to pay more money out of pocket.

Montana Tech not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #3 on our Best Colleges in Montana list.

Full Montana Tech of the University of Montana Report

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#3

Montana State University

Bozeman, Montana

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Montana State University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Best Value Colleges in Montana list. MSU Bozeman is located in Bozeman, Montana and has a fairly large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 2,551 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average student at MSU Bozeman graduates in less than 4.7 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $20,785. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the MSU Bozeman is $96,650. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

MSU Bozeman also made our Best Colleges in Montana list, coming in at #2.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around if you attend The University of Montana - Western. The school came in at #4 in Montana on this year’s best value ranking. The University of Montana - Western is located in Dillon, Montana and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 264 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average student at The University of Montana - Western graduates in less than 4.6 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $14,027. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from The University of Montana - Western is $64,103. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#5

The University of Montana

Missoula, Montana

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at The University of Montana helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for the money in Montana. The University of Montana is a fairly large public school located in Missoula, Montana that handed out 1,614 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

It takes about 4.5 years for the average student at University of Montana to complete their degree, and it costs about $18,198 per year to attend the school. Looking at these numbers together, we estimate that the average cost of a bachelor’s degree from University of Montana is about $82,619. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

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#6

Carroll College

Helena, Montana

Carroll College ranked #6 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Montana list. Helena, Montana is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 363 students in 2018-2019.

The average student at Carroll Montana graduates in less than 4.3 years, and on average, the annual cost to attend the school is $29,368. This means that the average student pays around $126,282 to get a bachelor’s degree from Carroll Montana. The sooner a student graduates, the more money they can save.

The low student loan default rate of 2.3% is a good sign that students have an easier time paying off their loans than they might at other schools. For comparison, the national default rate is 10.1%. Carroll Montana not only placed well in our value rankings, but it is also #1 on our Best Colleges in Montana list.

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Montana State University - Northern ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Montana list. Montana State University - Northern is located in Havre, Montana and has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 141 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergradutates.

The average student at Montana State University - Northern graduates in less than 4.5 years, and the average full-time cost to attend the school is around $14,233. This makes the estimated cost of a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University - Northern be around $64,048. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

Full Montana State University - Northern Report

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#8

Rocky Mountain College

Billings, Montana

Rocky Mountain College came in at #8 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for the Money in Montana ranking. Located in Billings, Montana, the small private not-for-profit school awarded 245 diplomas to qualifed bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

It takes the average student at Rocky about 4.4 years to graduate, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $23,739. Thus, the average cost to get a bachelor’s degree from the Rocky is $105,164. When students graduate in a lesser amount of time, they can save thousands of dollars.

The student loan default rate at the school is 4.8%, which is quite low when compared to the national default rate of 10.1%. In addition to its best value ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Rocky is ranked #5 for overall quality in Montana.

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Montana State University - Billings ranked #9 on this year’s Best Colleges for the Money in Montana list. Located in Billings, Montana, the small public school handed out 439 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at Montana State University - Billings graduates in less than 4.7 years, and the yearly average cost to attend the school is $17,429. When we combine these numbers, we estimate that the cost to get a bachelor’s degree from Montana State University - Billings is $82,439. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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#10

University of Providence

Great Falls, Montana

University of Providence landed the #10 spot on the 2021 Best Value Colleges in Montana ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Great Falls, Montana, and it awarded 286 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The average student at University of Providence graduates in less than 4.4 years, and the estimated yearly cost for the school is $31,684. This means that the average student pays around $139,726 to get a bachelor’s degree from University of Providence. When you graduate sooner, you can save a lot of money.

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Best Colleges in the Rocky Mountains Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*These averages are for the top 10 schools only.

  • For our state-specific rankings, we use in-state tuition to calculate average cost. For our national and regional rankings, we use a weighted average of in-state and non-resident tuition.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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